Leveraging Your 9-5 Job To Create Your Own PathBy Dominique Johnson-Lindsay
May 14 2020, Published 4:42 a.m. ET
Anika Dobbs, owner of Nubian Hueman, joined the Her Agenda INSIDER for #PowerHour to discuss her career journey and she leveraged her retail career in entrepreneurship.
After graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in Environmental Design (Interiors), Anika Hobbs looked to become an architect. Yet with the need for immediate employment, she joined one of the world’s leading fashion-retail brands at its earliest stages in the U.S. This led to a professional career of multi-level, national and international retail trade for more than a decade. Hobbs’ interest in the convergence of fashion, interior design, along with extensive international travels to Africa, Central America, Asia and Europe, developed her understanding of social responsibility, design, and business.
Her passions fueled her charge to become an economic change agent through brand exposure, product development and curated retail experiences culminating in the launch of her business, Nubian Hueman. Nubian Hueman is a social enterprise that specializes in sourcing and curating unique goods, fashion, and art by designers representing the global Diaspora and connecting them to consumers. Anika shared with us her experiences and pain points in her career and how it ultimately led to a higher purpose in becoming an entrepreneur.
On what led her to start her company, Nubian Hueman:
“I went to school for design, so entrepreneurship and leading a company wasn’t necessarily what I was after. It was about seeing us (both Black and brown) in retail space.”
Anika on what she wished she’d done differently:
“Time management. Because I had very large districts, I was all over the place. State to state. At that time, I wish I had learned to be more productive and better with my time. It’s a muscle I’m still exercising and strengthening to this day.”
Anika on how her 9-5 job helped prepare her in her own business:
“In hindsight, I consumed as much as I could. My track was on the visual merchandising side, however, I always had one of the biggest districts so when I learned how to be HR, accounting, loss prevention, maintenance and so much more. At the time I hated it. I wanted to just focus on the look of the stores but later realized that I was pushed in all of these directions to make me strong for when I had to wear all of these hats for my own business.”
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Anika on what lessons she has learned as an entrepreneur:
“PEOPLE ARE EVERYTHING. This means, your staff, your customer, and yourself. Learn how people are motivated by what you do. What your team does. Learn how people work best. Get creative. Remember this is your organization so you can set things up how you like. Learn what your customer needs are. Not just what you like. How do they like to be spoken to? How do they see your brand and its place in their lives? It’s all about people. Some of which is learned through trial and error or getting out and speaking to people. Your customers and your employees. This is the backbone for all business.”
To access the full chat, become a HER AGENDA INSIDER. You can find her business at nubianhueman.com or find them on social media on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. She also hosts the annual event The Black Love Experience. You can find her event on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
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